Masturbation and brazen sex antics spark booze row at King’s Cross hostel

07:02 23 January 2014

Journeys Hostel in King

Journeys Hostel in King's Cross


Backpackers masturbating out of windows, taking drugs and having sex on the roof are three reasons why a youth hostel shouldn’t be allowed to sell booze, neighbours claim

Journeys Hostel, in Caledonian Road, King’s Cross – popular among visiting Australians and South Africans – want permission to sell alcohol in their basement until 11pm in the week and midnight at weekends.

Furious residents have written to the town hall asking them to block the move – due to what they say is a litany of lurid sexual 
exploits and boozy drug-taking at the four-floor, 144-bed backpacker haunt.

One neighbour, who asked not to be named, described the “stressful reality” of the “sleep deprivation and nuisance” caused by guests’ sex-crazed antics.


She said: “Guests repeatedly climb out of the bedroom windows onto the low-level roof to smoke, drink alcohol, play music and dance with the utmost disregard for people trying to sleep. They are often seen urinating into our gardens too and even brazenly have sex.”

They added: “Just last Thursday while washing the dishes at my kitchen window, my partner and I witnessed a male visitor at the third floor window openly masturbating and joking and shouting to his companions below in the rear open area to mind their heads as he ejaculated out of the window.”

The bathroom windows are see through, the neighbour says, and people can clearly be seen sitting on the toilet wiping their bottoms.

The embattled resident went on to describe the nightly fight to sleep amid the foul language and constant fights, as well as the pavements being blocked by guests on the street smoking “spliff, wacky backy, marijuana”.

Another resident said the application was ridiculous because the area was already rowdy, unsafe and had unmanageable crime rates.

Yet another neighbour complained about groups of schoolchildren who stay in the hostel, asking: “How will staff ensure that these children do not get hold of any alcohol if it were made available on the premises?”

But Sean Fox, who works for the Journeys hostel chain, said these complaints dated back to a previous tenure.

He said: “This stuff is a massive surprise. We heard some horror stories about people having sex in rooms, but we evicted the manager who was in charge then – we acted quickly and got rid.

“Now we have bars on the windows and extra staff. We monitor our guest feedback forms, but in terms of the neighbours we only know what they tell us and we haven’t heard anything for two years.

“We believe the problems have been rectified and this bar will make things even better because we can monitor the place where people are drinking.

“There are a lot of misconceptions about backpackers which we are trying to shake. They are not drop-outs, many of them have degrees and contribute to the economy.”

The application was set to go before an Islington Council licensing committee on Tuesday, but was adjourned until February 25.


Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 15:00
Arsenal Stadium management have recently put up anti-skating signs and anti-skating devices on the steps outside the stadium on the North Bank Terrace to stop skaters skating over the memorial plaques there.

A mother has hit out at Arsenal Football Club after skateboarders were stopped from using steps with personalised memorial plaques at Emirates Stadium.

Yesterday, 14:51
The man whose body was recovered from the Regent’s Canal has been named as Sebastiano Magnanini

Two men have been arrested in connection with the suspected murder of a man in Islington, whose body was recovered from the Regent’s Canal in September.

Yesterday, 13:00
Pride of Britain Winner   SOHANA Collins and sisters with Sam Cameron ,  and at the Downing Street 


In many ways, Sohana Collins is just like any other 13-year-old: she goes to school, she’s obsessed with Harry Potter and enjoys playing with her family’s puppy.

Yesterday, 11:00
An artist's impression of how Archway town centre will look once the scheme is finished. But some are unimpressed by the Archway Road bus route plans

A main road may have to cope with another 50 buses per hour as part of plans to remove the Archway gyratory.

Yesterday, 10:15
Queen Elizabeth II on a tour of the City and Islington College in 2012.

Jeremy Corbyn has declined an invitation to be sworn in to the Privy Council amid continued uncertainty over whether he will declare allegiance in person to the Queen.

Yesterday, 07:00
The report called for investment into the prison, on Caledonian Road

An Islington prison is in “urgent need” of investment after a new report shed light on drug-fuelled violence.

Wed, 15:25
Cllr Joe Calouri

More foster carers are urgently needed to help with unaccompanied asylum seeker children, Islington Council has said.

Wed, 13:05
CCTV footage of the raid at Windsor Bishop jewellers in Norwich carried out by Islington smash and grab raiders Alfredo Rojasvagras, Bradley McMillan,  Mark Moloney and Dillon Zambon with two other associates. Picture: PRESS ASSOCIATION

Islington’s smash and grab shame was thrown back into the spotlight this week, after three men – and one boy – from the borough were jailed for a combined 20 years for a jewellery shop robbery.

Most read news


You'll be stocked up on toiletries  for a while!

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more.

You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

Digital Edition

Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder